Preston City Council’s leader Councillor Matthew Brown has reacted to Boris Johnson’s latest Covid-19 announcement.Advertisement
Speaking after the Prime Minister outlined the return of the regional tiered approach when national lockdown ends on 2 December, Councillor Brown said the briefing created “more questions than answers”.
Councillor Brown also highlighted concerns that government will impose restrictions without taking local communities’ needs into account.
He said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement today leaves more questions than answers.
“Whilst I welcome the decision to implement the current national lockdown with more generous support to reduce transmission, we now need a clear set of guidelines to ensure cases don’t rise again.
“This needs to be based on genuine consultation with local government and our public health teams.
“It appears the limited attempts at negotiation during the last Tier 3 discussions may not be repeated. This risks an imposition of restrictions on our population that doesn’t correlate to our local public health evidence or the needs of our community.”
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Referring to rumours about restrictions that have been circulating in the media, Councillor Brown said: “It is unfair of the government to again leak parts of this announcement to the press last night, especially as many Preston workers and local businesses are worried about their future.
“We want to engage positively with government but they must treat us as equals.”
Meanwhile Preston BID Manager, Mark Whittle, said the city’s hospitality sector faces a nervous wait until Thursday, when Preston and Lancashire’s tier will be announced.
He said: “We are pleased that we’ve been given some clarity, which will allow retailers and service businesses to plan to safely re-open for trade.
“Sadly, the city’s hospitality sector will have to wait until Thursday until we find out which Tier the city will be placed in, and what restrictions will apply as a result – we sincerely hope that they are given a lifeline, and will be able to trade effectively at this crucial time.
“We all hope that the county is placed in the lowest tier possible, which will give all businesses a chance to open their doors, and fight on, in what’s been a really tough year for them.
“Businesses have done all that’s been asked of them and will continue, we’re sure, to make sure the safety of their customers and staff remains their top priority, and their premises are as risk free as possible.
“We’d urge people who are planning to spend for Christmas, to do so in their city centre, and continue to visit safely.”
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